Hello Hexus Patrons,
This is my first post. If there is a ring of novice-ness to it, please excuse me in advance.
Here's My Machine Info:
HP Pavillion 545x
3 PCI card slots, currently: ATI TV Wonder 650 on top, sound card next, empty slot last
No (I repeat, NO AGP slot)--which I am told means you must use the onboard video card
Intel on-board video card ( I do not have the specs on it.)
Board Chip Set specs unkown. I have them written down somewhere but not handy.
Inner Hard Drive of 129 GB, 25GB Free right now
USB Outboard (correct term?) "hard drive" or "drive" 92GB, 10GB Free right now
Samsung Monitor SyncMaster 793MB
Here Is My Hardware Status:
1. Uninstalled older version of a 3 or 4 year old ATI TV Wonder video add-on capture card.
2. Uninstalled all software, drivers, et al.
3. Installed ATI TV Wonder 650 and related software, Catalyst Media Center (latest edition), no issues in terms of getting it running, seeing inline video, hearing audio. It's all there, buttttttt....
Here Is My Issue(s):
1. No Specific Caputre Settings On Catalyst Software Program, or are there?.
Using Catalyst Media Software provided with the card, you go to capture settings, and it's this "Disney World America" mentality setup. What that means is that there are three buttons, labeled good, better and best. (?!). I do not see anywhere where you can determine/select the following settings which I am seeking:
720X480 video capture
Variable Bit Rate set instaed of Constant Bit Rate
Ability to choose capture format (AVI, or MPG(2))
Color Code Setting of YU2.
Minimum setting of 8,000 bit rate kb/s
This is VERY frustrating. I don't like it when things are "dumbed down" to a point where you are not allowed to make choices. If they want one setting to skip all the questions, that's fine... but don't take away my options. I am hoping I am missing something here in terms of finding where, within ATI Catalyst Software, I can tweak these settings above and do what I want. Please help.
2. Using SONY Screenblast 3.0 To Capture So I Could Tweak Settings
Because I could not find specific settings on Catalyst software, I went ahead and used another program called SONY Screenblast 3.0.
On this program, I went to capture some test video (source was a VHS tape). Using Screenblast, I clicked the capture icon, a new screen pops up. I then (on the capture screen) went to the menu at the top bar, and selected VIDEO, the scrolled down to 2 different menu choices listed as follows;
ATI AVStream Analog Capture Properties
ATI AVStream Analog Capture Capture Properties <-- this is not a typo.
Under those, you can set some of the video capture settings, but they only allow three, and two are 720X480, which is good--The other is 720X240. They even have a YU2 for color mode, which is great. So I went ahead and captured about 4 minutes worth of footage just to test it out.
Upon capturing some footage, I moved the clip called TONICHILDSVIDEO01 into screenblast, and saved it as an .avi file. I then did another capture, called it TONICHILDSVIDEO02 and moved it into screenblast, and saved it as an MPG (2) file.
When I played both files in Screenblast, using the project editting window to view them, the video capture appeared "TALL".
What I mean is, the picture itself was correct size, but there was a huge black space (equal to the picture size iteself) ABOVE the picutre AND below it. So to give you a visual without one, imagine 3 screens (4:3 screen ratio) on top of one another.. Now label them 1 to 3 starting at the top going down. The top screen #1 is all black. The 2nd screen #2 is your image, looks okay format wise, the third black screen #3 is another black block. I have a "tall" image with my image in the center.
When I use a program called GSPOT (I can elaborate on how great this program is later) it gave me the data on the MPG2 version of the video I just captured as follows:
29.97fps, 352x480 resolution, DAR 4:3, CVD format, MPG2 codec, 6,488kb/s, VBR format.
Yet, this thing is shaped like a rectangular elongated north and south with a normal picture in the middle.
Can anyone help me in explaining this "elongated rectangle" phenomena? Can anyone tell me what's going on and how to fix it in a very specific step by step basis? I would be eternally grateful.
3. Resolution Of Viewing Video Vs. Resolution Selection For Capture
I want to get clarification on my perceptions of video, since they are limited. First quickly, here is my goal/mission:
I am archiving old VHS and laserdisc to DVD. Mostly music videos, and a few video collections and some concerts. For the most part, most projects are under 30 min. Some are longer, up to an hour and a half.
I have absolutely no concern for "file size" or "space used" with the natural exception being if the file is too large to feasibly manipulate. I am aiming for extreme superior quality as some of these archived videos are going to the artists themselves.
I can always add on hard drives, buy a super hard drive outside the computer (outboard), or whatever the correct term is, I have no concern for cost or space, I just want the best quality.
However, when I capture something through SCREENBLAST at 720X480, the rendered video is not that. My -perception- is that when you capture something at a certain resolution, it comes out in that resolution no matter what the input (Much like the way a scanner works). Could someone please tell me if I am correct, completely wrong, or somewhat right and give me a brief 101 on the difference between something at 720X480 and something scanned using 720X480 parameters?
This note is pretty long--I apologize for taking up so much space, however I do understand with these "threads" as they are called, the more specific the info the better---and I know people out there are frustrated too. I figured if I post my specs that show this hardware and software works on the circumstance of my equipment, someone could maybe use that info to their advantage.
Also, as a side note, I am not using the ATI TV Wonder for incoming cable/antenna/satellite. I don't even use the tuner feature. Nor am I cocerned about High Def' right now. And I do not have any games that I use intense graphics, actually, I don't play computer games at all--I am basically using this card for the sole pupose of archiving some very rare music videos. That's all i want, so with that goal in mind, if anyone can offer advice...
Okay, that's it.
I feel like there is a million dollars here, but I just cannot seem to find which case it's hiding behind. Please help me.